|The Past, Present and Future of the Chinese
| Shanghai is the cradle of Chinese Comic. In 1925, Shanghai
International Publishing House published "Three Kingdoms", "Pilgrimage
to the West" and "Biography of Yue Fei", which were the first four
works that were named Chinese Comics. During the period of War of
Resistance against Japan, Chinese Comic in Shanghai got a rapid progress.
There were about two hundred people engaged in Chinese Comic. Four
genres---Shen Manyun, Zhao Hongben, Qian Xiao'ai and Chen Guangyi,
the so called "the Four Dans" in Chinese Comic field generated. On
drawing technique, Zhao and Qian were comparatively realistic, while
Chen was magniloquent. During the period from 1930s to 1940s, the
Chinese Comic began to develop gradually rapidly.
After liberation, Chinese Comic's development entered its splendid
period. From 1950s to 1960s, classical materials were stressed. People's
Fine Arts Publishing House (PFAPH) and Shanghai PFAPH gathered elites
in Chinese Comic field, such as Dong Tianye, Zhao Sandao, Wang Yushan,
Chen Guangyi and Zhang Lingtao, etc. to create classic series---"Three
Kingdoms", "A Dream of Red Mansion", "Biography of Yue Fei", as well
as "Mr. Dongguo", and "The Western Chamber". The western painting
techniques---oil painting, sketch and watercolor were also used in
drawing the Chinese Comic. During the period, many new promising painters
emerged, such as Wang Yiqiu, Wang Guanqing, Luo Pan and Liu Danzhai,
and so on.
The Cultural Revolution was a peculiar period for the Chinese Comic.
Works that created before the Revolution were regarded as capitalistic
products and were all destroyed. Many newly created works came forth,
which were created according to the stage scene and divorced from
common life. However they showed the characteristic of that age and
all were excellent works, such as Gu Bingxin's "Lenin in October"
and so on.
In early 1980s, there came a renaissance in Chinese Comic field.
However the quiddity was to republish the old editions of Chinese
Comics. For example, "Railway Guerillas" was ever republished for
30,000,000 volumes. Many famous painters also appeared, such as Meng
Qingjiang and Lei Dezu, etc.
However the resources of the old editions were soon used up. Influenced
by the economy in late 1980s, children lost their interests in Chinese
Comics, and painters were also tired of their work with low profits.
Before long the Chinese Comics disappeared from bookstores.
Since mid-1990s, many people became interested again in Chinese
Comics and began to collect them. There were two reasons: First,
many adults in their 30s or above grew up in the influences of Chinese
Comics. They missed their childhood lives, and wanted to take Chinese
Comics as mementos. Secondly, the collectors hoped that their collections
would be worth more in the future. The collection of the Chinese
Comic propelled the publication of the Chinese Comic. And we do
hope one day there will be another renaissance appear in the Chinese
|By Meng Lin